Hi! I'm a Latter-Day-Saint (Mormon)...but I'm definitely not typical...

Monday, April 9

Family - Isn't It About, Time? ;)

This was a very random posting...I didn't think through the order of things - I just typed. I hope it makes sense. :)

So, in the Latter-Day Saint (LDS, Mormon) church, family is the center of everything. Well, obviously Jesus Christ is our Savior and we try to live our lives like Him and seek guidance from our Heavenly Father...BUT - a family is what we all strive to have. My mind has been on this topic lately.

This is some random happy family - cute :)

First of all I want to point out one important goal in life - the Savior and Heavenly Father's goal is the same - "To bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." - Pearl of Great Price; Moses 1:39. So how is this accomplished? It is accomplished through having a family that is eternal and returns to live with our Heavenly parents/family and friends again.

We all seek for a higher power, heaven, nirvana, to be reincarnated as something or someone beautiful and strong...whatever you seek this is where my beliefs lie.

In the gospel, the LDS church, we believe in having our own families here that are brought together with an eternal bond through the authority or Priesthood of God. This has been passed down through very short lines of authority that lead to Jesus Christ. Most Priesthood holders in the church can actually show you a paper with the names of those men in their line.

Anyway, let's just say I'm not typical in the church. Yet, my circumstance is becoming more typical. But I still run into those that I meet that say "You're not a typical Mormon girl." Why? Well....let me guess...

1) I don't have any children.

2) I am not married. (usually around 19)

3) I served a full-time mission. (usually you see boys with black name tags on, riding bikes...yeah...I did that bike-riding, door-knocking thing too ;)

4) Although I've been (kindof) close to marriage a few times, I've actually never had a relationship last longer than 4 months.

5) I don't attend a single's ward :) haha

OK...I added that last one in just for fun. That doesn't actually mean anything ;)

This hasn't always been easy for me, mainly because I know the gospel is centered around families, and I sincerely believe in all of its teachings and want to fulfill my role as a mother and wife in this life as well. Not because it has somehow been forced upon me but because I seriously have always had a natural desire for these things.

Once, I was working at a Community Center...hanging out with kids all day...fantastic. The girl that ran the front desk, the day before she was leaving to go back to school came up to me and said "You know, I think differently of LDS girls now because of you. I really respect the fact that you've just done what you've wanted. So many of my Mormon girl friends were married young and already have a bunch of kids and I just felt sorry for them that they didn't get to live more of a life than they did. You've really done alot of awesome things and give me a new respect for the gospel." All of the staff members, including this girl, were strong Christian/Baptist so I completely respected her opinion, and also always stood out. I was somewhat stunned that she told me these things, although glad she could see there are differences in every religion. Not everyone is a "textbook" Mormon. And...although I have definitely not purposefully tried....she was right about me.

But when these things are said, all I ever want to say is - "But all I've ever wanted to do is raise a family and be a mother." But this isn't completely true. We all have dreams and goals and definitely I have accomplished some of these things. But driving down a road thinking...wow this is great I could do anything I want ever because it's just me...isn't my idea of fun. It used to be. I'm over that now. I'd like to live in one place for years and get to know my neighbors...that would be nice...and comforting.

Off the subject, though. I definitely told this wonderful girl my true desires in life and that I hope none of those girls regret their decisions...and everyone has their own opinions. But if Heavenly Father has blessed me to be in this circumstance for my life for a reason...such as standing out...since there's no way I can't given my circumstance in life...then I guess I will.

We've all been given gifts and talents to share with others, and we're all required to strengthen our weaknesses to become better! Weakness number one for me - 1) Patience. I'm definitely working on this in many different ways ;)

Throughout life it's easy (eventually) to determine what strength/talents/gifts you are here to share with others. I definitely know that if we suppress those talents they will not remain with us. Also, it is selfish to keep your gifts to yourself. We do this when we're scared or pretending to act humble. Humility is NOT hiding what you've been given. Although it is scary to share the talents/abilities we have with others, there are people that desperately need to be blessed with those things that you have. Withholding the opportunity to bless others I think is one of the most selfish things of all. It definitely doesn't make anyone look good...but it does make us weak. And why would God continue to bless you with something you do not use? He will give the gift to someone who shares it.

For some reason I have been given the ability to work with children. I strayed from this ability for years thinking that if I worked with them I would not want my own. Haha...weird mindset, right? Well, eventually I had to fulfill my need for having my own children since that was not happening but surrounding myself with them. I started work at a Community Center and found that my need was fulfilled. Hanging out with them, teaching them and getting to know them somewhat fulfilled the natural need in me for my own. This has taught me definite patience...and that there is more that I can give. I work with the children in my ward, teaching them music. Absolutely...the best calling, ever!

Blessings come in all forms. No one...that I have ever met...fits a "mold". We all are different and have something to add to the picture. I need you. You need me. This is family. We function as a whole. We are here to create and teach and learn...this is what families are for. I believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ and that it is centered on families...so that we may learn to be as our Father in Heaven...that created us and sent his son...Jesus Christ...to die for us. You parents, imagine having to do that. To give up your oldest, first born child...to die for your other children so that they could return to you. That is true sacrifice. Being a parent teaches ultimate sacrifice and ultimate love.

This is the Proclamation to the World. This is the LDS church's stance on family. I believe this with all of my heart. I love you all :)

Sunday, March 4

Mormon 101 - we all have opinions, even in the church!

This evening...before it hit midnight, since it's already almost 1am...I was reading an article in the Washington Post on an LDS woman named Joanna Brooks. Here's her blog - www.askmormongirl.com. Visit this site at your own discretion. Honestly, she doesn't say anything extremely negative about the LDS faith. As a practicing Mormon I can understand some of her viewpoints. But after reading this article, which gives details about a self-proclaimed feminist, once inactive in the church, now again practicing and married with children to a Jewish man (and by stating these things I'm just telling you a little about her), I was a bit derailed. But, why?? I couldn't figure out why someone as seemingly unassuming as Mrs. Brooks would bother me. Now, I want you all to know it isn't because I think necessarily negatively about her own ideas. What I don't appreciate is some of the things she pointed out that "Mormons think."

Aren't we all different? Don't we ALL see things differently because we are all different people? It doesn't even matter your religious viewpoint in this argument. I truly believe that we are all small parts of the people we have met throughout our lives, so it's absolutely impossible for any of us to be the same or think the same.

"We all take different paths in life, but no matter where we go, we take a little of each other everywhere."
Tim McGraw...haha.

I KNOW this is definitely NOT Tim McGraw that stated this first, but it's definite reality from my perspective. All I'm trying to say is that you can say "ALL MORMONS think....something...." as easily as I could say all Jews think something and we would both be wrong. Something Mrs. Brooks stated on her website, when speaking of blacks receiving the Priesthood is this -"But I too grew up hearing those old racist teachings about the curse of Cain and Ham, and the fencesitters in the pre-existence, and all the rotten rest of it." Also -"It is ugly painful to see people you love, people you believe are capable of better, satiate themselves on thinly reasoned prejudices. In God’s name." The definite reality of these two separate remarks is learning the difference between opinion and fact. These are not DOCTRINES taught in the church...Cain and Ham is a definite Bible story...but ALL of the rest are opinions - opinions that some people have confused as facts - it's up to each individual person to get their FACTS straight.

What do I know?....that God, Heavenly Father knows all. If I'm not sure of something...I pray about it, I read about it and may even research it a bit. I do know that when the Priesthood was able to be given to all men in 1978,(to read more about this, please go HERE) when the ban was lifted from not allowing black men the Priesthood, that there was rejoicing in Heaven, and amongst all in the LDS church. And let me tell you, this is a very touchy subject I know...so please go to the above link for a lot of detail on Black men receiving the Priesthood.

The way we get ourselves into trouble is trying to think that there has to be a DEFINITE answer to all things. Well, I have an answer. As I search for answers, when I don't agree with doctrine or it doesn't sit easily with me, I ask for clarity from my Heavenly Father....why? This may seem pointless to many of you reading this, thinking that I can't be told anything directly from a being that may or may not exist. That is understandable. But let me tell you, there is nothing more clear than the peace the Holy Ghost brings...and the guidance Heavenly Father gives through that spirit. It's unlike anything I've ever known....and I'm still floored at the validity of it all. In (KJV) John 14:16 it reads "And I will pray the Father, and He shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you forever." This, speaking of the Holy Ghost as the comforter...and that's exactly what he does - comforts.

Honestly, I don't know all things. I don't know why all things happen ALL of the time. But, do any of us? Maybe that's why we sometimes reason things away...saying..."it must be because of this...", when really...we're just trying to make ourselves feel better. Just like Mrs. Brooks is trying to make herself feel better by saying that being a "progressive" Mormon defines her better. And, maybe it does...because she believes in the same faith as I do. And me speaking negatively of how she perceives most Mormons to be doesn't make me any better than her, does it?

This is Mormon 101 because, well...every day I'm trying to teach myself how to be better. I would like to believe that I'm an accepting and loving person. That others are allowed their opinions and that expressing myself is just as therapeutic as I'm hoping it will be. So, this is Jamee Lee's version of Mormon 101. I'm definitely imperfect and I may seek for answers differently than you do...but what makes us so different from each other, really? Well....our experiences, that's what. Luckily, right? If not...how interesting would this world really be?

Saturday, February 11

In Style

We all want to be completely in style, right? Well, some of us ;) I'm one of those weird girls that enjoys reading fashion magazines and trying the new styles. But really, I just like to know what is current so when I go shopping I know what to look for! I hate looking like a dummy...haha. Growing up, I lived in a small town and wore Levi's 501's just about every day with a t-shirt. Nothing special. Sundays were the days when I dressed up. I did always enjoy putting on a skirt and doing my hair, but didn't have the drive to do that every day...but Sundays were definitely my day to doll it up. NOW...I LOVE fashion! I am an avid reader of In Style...why, do you ask? Well, I always loved magazines, but a few years ago I decided that they all had those disgusting articles on "How to please your man in bed...", etc. So, I didn't buy magazines. Then, one day I decided to look at the covers of each magazine for a few months in a row while I was standing in line every time I went to the grocery store to see if I could possibly find which magazine(s) didn't run sex articles. After a few months of looking, I realized only TWO women's fashion magazines don't run them - In Style and Vogue. I love both of them but gravitate toward In Style for its readability. I will definitely be sharing some of my favorite fashion tips of the moment...whenever I get the urge to. One of my favorite things right now is pink lipstick! Now...I would definitely go with a color that's good with your skin. Make sure to try with the cheaper brands so you're not wasting too much money before you go and buy some super expensive color you hate! I absolutely LOVE this color! And guess what? It's Wet 'n Wild..in Retro Pink$.97 at Walmart! So fun :)
So, that's my current favorite trend :)

Also, my brothers are in town and my brother's adorable pregnant girlfriend is too adorable! Isn't life fantastastic? The fact that we can literally create another person inside of us...well...half of us :)...is just absolutely amazing. She talks about the baby flipping around in her and how it feels and it just seems so surreal to me. I can't wait for that experience ;) I'll definitely be patient for it. Patience...it's been easier for me lately...and I'm completely grateful for that :)

SO...what are YOUR favorite fashion trends? :)

PS...if you want to know how to work the wardrobe you already have, take a look at my ex-roomie's internet site, that just started out as a modest blog - Clothed Much I shopped through her closet a few times when we lived together ;) This girl knows how to dress!

<3 Jamee

Sunday, January 8

How I'm REALLY Feeling...This is pure honesty...

So, I just finished watching, well...a few...movies, which made me contemplate what I'm really looking for.
This is what I definitely enjoy at the moment, that trumps everything else I'm "supposed" to be doing, whatever that means. 1) NOT working overtime 2) Crocheting, with a hot pad on my back, while watching whatever fun thing is on the TV at the time...but I'm definitely a movie-holic 3) Eating healthy 4) Working out......about 2 times a week...ha 5) Absolutely relaxing.
That's it. Really. I definitely don't enjoy going out and being social right now. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that I'm almost done at work, and can then just go home, relax...and put my pj's on.
Now, after thinking deeply about that, and realizing that I'd rather do that than date or meet anyone new....well....I'm allowing it. I'm allowing myself the opportunity to just chill out, relax and take time for myself. Mostly, because I never allowed myself to stop for very long with whatever I was doing in almost all of the past years of my life. I'm tired...I'm not in the mood to shake my tail feathers or whatever...haha, but seriously!
This is where the pure honesty sets in. I was talking to a girl friend of mine the other day...whom just got married - congrats!...and she was talking about what scared her about dating and marriage, before finally finding the guy. The only thing I could think of is......I'm scared of it actually working out. I definitely know I run or push the guy away when things start going well. And, yes, although I have had some relationships in the very long ago that could have worked that I didn't end, I'm not sure I wouldn't have eventually done just that.
And...well, that's all I have to say right now. This is honesty without me trying to figure out why, or talk myself into something that absolutely freaks me out...mostly because...I'd have no idea what to do if a relationship actually worked out. I've never gotten that far before. And I'm pretty positive I haven't let my emotions be completely available for anyone in a few years at least.

That's the truth.